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Carpe Digital: Taking Your Preaching Off-Road Via Godcasting

By Mark Batterson

Who said preachers must preach from behind a pulpit and parishioners need to listen while seated on wooden pews?

In 1728, John Wesley was ordained into the Anglican priesthood. During his time most people assumed that preaching was to take place behind a pulpit inside the church. The hierarchy within the Church of England considered preaching outdoors a violation of canon law. But John Wesley broke the law and the mold.

Wesley was not trying to be different for difference sake. His unorthodox methodology of field preaching and circuit riding led to his disenfranchisement and death threats. Wesley even admitted in 1772: “To this day, field preaching is a cross to me.” So why did Wesley take his preaching off-road? Because he did not believe the gospel should be quarantined to a church building. In his own words: “I look upon the world as my parish.”

Wesley preached his first off-road sermon on April 2, 1739. His last outdoor sermon was delivered under an ash tree in the churchyard of Rye in Kent, England, on October 7, 1790. During that 50-year stretch, Wesley preached more than 40,000 sermons; traveled 250,000 miles on horseback; and saw 150,000 people convert to Christ.

What does that have to do with podcasting?

To read the rest of this article and obtain a downloadable PDF of this issue of Enrichment journal, click here.

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